Citation(s) from the Gun Policy News media archive

The Number of Firearms in Austria Rose by a Third in Six Years

Asyl- und Corona-Krise waren nur zwei Antriebsfaktoren eines breiteren Phänomens

Der Standard

26 August 2020

Relevant contents

In Austria, the private acquisition, possession and trade of firearms is regulated by the Weapons Act, which was passed in 1997. Originally, it divided firearms into four categories. Category A weapons are considered prohibited and, with exceptions, can no longer be registered. They include war material and, for example, fully automatic rifles and pump guns. Their current inventory is 11,900.

Category B includes weapons that require a permit but do not belong to category A, such as repeating shotguns, pistols, revolvers and semi-automatic weapons. Their possession requires a weapons possession card (WBK), which is only issued to adults after a positive psychological assessment. 452,200 category B weapons were registered in Austria in August. Category C weapons are the most prevalent, with 667,900. This includes weapons with rifled barrels that are subject to registration and do not belong to the first two categories, i.e. rifles. They are free from 18 years of age, a WBK is not necessary to acquire; with such, however, one escapes the otherwise prescribed "cooling off period" of three days, which is intended to prevent acts of affect. Until the end of 2019, there was a category D, which included weapons with smooth barrels, i.e. shotguns. This category was merged with Category C by amendment.

Regardless of the classification, owners may transport their weapons only unloaded, in a locked container and separate from the ammunition outside the house - unless they have a weapons pass, which can be applied for with justified need at the district administrative authority

ID: N764

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